Tampa Animal and Bird Hospital

Tampa Vet | Veterinarian & Animal Clinic

Site Menu & Locations

Puppies Respond Positively to “Dog Talk”

Using the high-pitched “dog voice” toward pets works better for puppies than adult dogs.

Researchers decided to look into this pet-directed speech, which is similar to the tone of voice used for human babies “known to engage infants’ attention and promote language learning.” In the first investigation of “potential factors modulating the use of dog-directed speech,” the research also aimed to determine its immediate impact on behavior. The study was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B last Wednesday, Jan. 11.

To find out how dogs reacted to human speech, researchers had 30 female volunteers read a script while looking at pictures of dogs—both puppies and adults. The script included common phrases like, “Who’s a good boy?” They also recorded as if speaking to another person.

Analysis of these recordings found that the human speakers used dog-directed speech no matter the age of the dog in the photo, but that when speaking to puppies, the pitch of their voice did go up.

The recordings were then played for 10 puppies and 10 adult dogs. Nine of the puppies reacted strongly, barking and running toward the loudspeaker even when the recording had been made for an older dog. The adult dogs, meanwhile, did not react to speech directed at puppies, older dogs, or humans.

“Adult dogs seem to ignore dog-directed speech at least when the voice is from an unfamiliar person,” said professor Nicolas Mathevon from Jean Monnet University in Saint-Étienne, France, who led the research.

To find out whether speaking to puppies this way could help them learn words, like speech directed at infants does, more studies will have to be done.

Courtesy of NEWStat
This entry was posted in Caring for your pet, News, Tips & advice. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

eleven − 7 =

Learn more, visit out pet health library:
Pet Health Articles

Subscribe to Our Feed

 In a Reader or by email.

COVID-19 Service Announcement

June 29, 2020

Tampa Bay Animal Hospitals adjust to providing care during the re-opening of Florida associated with human coronavirus COVID-19 by continuing Curbside Concierge Service, Telehealth, and Mobile Services, but we look forward to resuming limited in-hospital outpatient appointments as soon as we have sufficient confidence that we can do so safely.

We remain committed to caring for our patients and meeting their health care needs in the safest and best way possible. Be assured that we continue to follow CDC guidelines and federal, state and local recommendations for practicing social distancing. We have established a phased plan to resume normal services to see our patients for healthy pet exams, all procedures and surgeries and urgent care needs.

Continue Reading